Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – June 17th 2021

Daniel Centre

A builder has been found for the new storage centre and the parking lot and the work was due to begin on Monday 15th June.

The training sessions for 13 successful candidates for the Kenya project are now complete and the party is ready to set off from Budapest with the blessing of the Hungarian government on June 28th for a month.

Talita Kum

There is no update on and therefore little hope for EU funding for the running of TK3 and TK4 projects within the existing TK2 building.  Adi still hopes to get a kindergarten up and running.  With school exam time now upon them, things are currently much quieter in TK1 and TK2.

Missions, The Persecuted Church Across the World

Iranian Police Chief Helps Distribute Bibles – June 17th 2021

Voice of the Martyrs, 10 June 2021

A Persian house church leader had two boxes of Farsi New Testaments in the trunk of his car. When he saw that he was approaching a police checkpoint, he pulled over and left the boxes of Bibles on the side of the road.

Later that night, the police chief saw the boxes on the roadside and thought they might contain contraband, so he put them in his truck and took them home.

Once he got home and opened the boxes, he discovered the boxes were filled with Bibles and wasn’t sure what to do with them.

Since the Persian New Year was approaching, he decided to give the Bibles to each family member and guest at his home.

A Voice of the Martyrs worker reported that when one of the women who received a Bible called the contact information inside of it and was asked who gave her the New Testament, she replied, “My family friend. He is the police chief.”

Pray that the police chief and those who received the Bibles will find salvation in Christ through them. Pray that Bible distributors in Iran will continue to find creative ways of delivering Bibles into the country.

Barnabas, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Barnabas Update – June 17th 2021

Persecuted Christians and Croatian scholarships

Barnabas Fund, 14 June 2021 (excerpts)

Croatia has been inundated with 5500 applications for scholarships set aside for young, persecuted Christians from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

The government has earmarked about £172,000 to enable young persons persecuted for their Christian faith to pursue undergraduate and graduate university studies in Croatia.

The aim is that they will acquire knowledge and then return to their own countries better equipped to contribute to shaping their communities along democratic and tolerant lines.

The initiative was the result of an amendment to the state budget submitted by independent MP Marijana Petir that was accepted in November 2020.

The proposal was opposed by some NGOs, who claimed that humanitarian aid should not be given on a discriminatory basis.

In response to this criticism of help being allocated exclusively to Christian students, Petir responded that “unfortunately, they are the most persecuted religious group in the world”.

In places where impoverished Christians are too poor to access tertiary education, many are offered scholarships by Islamic sources to study for free in Muslim-majority countries or at Islamic institutions; this results in many conversions to Islam.

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – June 17th 2021

In Maximum this morning Howard stood before the class to express his thanks for the application study Bible he’d been given. He was in tears as he explained that four years of reading an unannotated Bible hadn’t brought him to the depth of understanding that a couple of weeks of using his study Bible had.  An (ex) gangster does not shed tears in public easily.  From a donation to use for “the spiritual encouragement” of the prisoners, Dawn has been able to buy more study Bibles.  It’s not a good idea to splash cash around so pray for local Christian intermediaries who will identify specific needs that can be supplied.

In Medium, Theswin (another ex gangster) talked about his pregnant 16 year old daughter. She has no job and they are worried about how they will be able to buy things the baby needs. Theswin said he could easily call his old drug-dealer buddies and they would provide everything but he won’t because Jesus has changed his life.

Pray for Hersel, a committed follower of Jesus while in the juvenile section. He left the prison gang but, when moved to the adult section and asked by gang members, “Who were you?” he was afraid and has ended up returning to the gang.

Fraser has been contacted by Mukhanyo Theological College in South Africa to ask him to help them install a new library system. Give thanks for this new contact.

Tesfay Hadera, the principal of a Theological College in Ethiopia had attended the NetAct workshops in Stellenbosch and was then incarcerated by the Ethiopian government in troubled Tigray.  He has just been released. Please keep him in your prayers.

Missions, The Persecuted Church Across the World

Near anarchy in Nigeria – June 17th 2021

World Watch Monitor, 14 June 2021 (excerpts)

This week, a coalition of over 120 Nigerian NGOs, including Action Aid, issued a plea that President Buhari act over the decline in security. Following what it referred to as “a sharp increase of 43 per cent in mass atrocities 2020” it had “recorded an all-time quarterly high of almost 2000 fatalities from mass atrocities incidents across the country” from January to March 2021.

The NGOs noted how the government had downplayed the severity of “large scale terrorist attacks in the North West” by tagging the criminality as “banditry”.  They had in a February statement charged President Buhari to halt the drifting of Nigeria to what they called a ‘state of anarchy’.

On 13 May, President Buhari pledged that his administration will “use all available resources and manpower in dealing with bandits”.

During Eid prayers, Bauchi State Governor urged the Federal Government to improve the security architecture. “Most of the criminality is coming from us as members of the Islamic faith, such as banditry, kidnapping and the rest. We must be very courageous to say it. It’s not something acceptable in the tenets of Islam … Apparently, the Federal security architecture has failed not because of any compromise but because the situation is overwhelming”.

Missions, The Persecuted Church Across the World

Young Ethiopian executed without trial – June 17th 2021

Barnabas Fund, 14 June 2021 (excerpts)

A 17-year-old Ethiopian Christian has been shot dead without trial in broad daylight at a roundabout in Dembi Dollo, Oromia region on 11 May.

Oromia regional special forces claimed that Amanuel Wondimu belonged to the banned Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).  They arrested, beat and paraded him, forcing him to shout, “I am a member of the OLA. Don’t do what I did. Learn from me.”

The town’s administration posted a video on social media in which security forces taunt the bloodied teenager with a handgun tied around his neck.

He was shot twice in the head at a roundabout in the town. Witnesses said local police and armed forces ordered vehicles to stop and compelled local residents and business owners to watch the killing.

Since the killing, government authorities have further intimidated Dembi Dollo residents, including Amanuel’s family members and friends.

Amanuel’s father asserted that his son had no links with the OLA, he was a devout Christian and served as a deacon in his local church.

Another relative said that Amanuel never had any involvement in politics, adding, “He spends most of his time in the church. The accusations against him are absurd.”

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – June 2nd 2021

Daniel Centre

Cipri’s health is not good, compounded by high blood pressure, but also by a good measure of drama.   Ioan has lost his job, comes home drunk and aggressive and is likely to have his probation ended next month.

The demolition work on the depot has now been completed and all the rubble has been removed.  The building of the new storage centre and the parking lot can be started.

The Blythswood property at the airport has been sold and they are waiting for the third and final tranche of the payment.

The 13 successful candidates for the Kenya project have an online training session this coming weekend and an in-person training in Hungary the following weekend.  They now are challenged to raise €500 each in addition to the Hungarian government’s funding of their travel and living expenses in Kenya.

Talita Kum

Though EU funding was not approved for a separate TK3 and TK4 building, it is hoped there will be funding for the running of these projects within the existing TK2 building.  The issue now is whether a kindergarten in that same building can access sufficient funds to run for the first three years before it becomes eligible for local government funding.

Missions, The Persecuted Church Across the World

Herdsmen Kill 37 Christians in Plateau State, Nigeria – June 2nd 2021

Morning Star News, 26 May 2021

Fulani herdsmen on Sunday, May 23, killed 14 Christians in a village near Jos, Plateau state and 8 others in another village, sources said.

Herdsmen attacked Kwi village near Jos, at about 11 p.m., said area resident Solomon Mandiks, a Christian rights activist.

“14 Christians were butchered to death, including children,” Mandiks told Morning Star News in a text. “8 members of one family have all been killed … besides an additional six other Christians killed by the herdsmen in the village.”

Earlier that night in Dong village, Jos North County, armed herdsmen attacking at 8 p.m. killed eight Christians, area residents said. Asabe Samuel, 60-year-old member of the local Evangelical Church, said that a large number of herdsmen invaded as residents were about to go to sleep.

“I was by the central area of the village when I heard Fulani gunmen shooting around my house,” she told Morning Star News. “This forced us to run to hide.”

As the sounds of gunshot were coming from the direction of her house, others advised her not to return home.

“I still rushed to my house, and just as I was getting closer to my house, I found … a corpse was lying beside my house,” Samuel said. “We heard the attackers retreating and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar [Allah is greater].’ The herdsmen were communicating with themselves in the Fulani language.”

Barnabas, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Barnabas Update – June 2nd 2021

Christian villagers terrorised in Pakistan

Barnabas Fund, 20 May 2021

At least 8 Christians were left with fractured bones after the small Christian community of a village in the Punjab, Pakistan, was terrorised by a Muslim mob of around 200 people.

The incident has now been reported to the police and a case has been registered against 66 people who are accused. Church leaders and elders from the Muslim community have worked together to restore peace to the area.

The incident began on 14 May when a Muslim man, named Khalil, accused Mangta and two other Christians cleaning the entrance of the village church of throwing dust at him.

After this altercation Khalil and five other men returned to attack the Christian men with weapons, leaving all three with injuries.

The following day (15 May) the 200-strong mob launched an attack on Christian homes.

“They were armed with glass bottles, stones, axes, batons and bricks,” said Mangta. “Others used stairs to climb to our roofs and started breaking our furniture. We pleaded to spare the women but the attack continued for half an hour.”

A woman who was among the victims reported, “They broke the locks, grabbed our hair and pulled us out one by one. Young girls were assaulted and left with torn clothes.”

Local church minister, Khalid Mukhtar, said, “The weakness on the part of the administration encourages such attacks on religious minorities. The culprits are usually let off scot-free. Religion is used to settle personal scores.”

Jacksons, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Jacksons Update – June 2nd 2021

NetAct want to translate their recently published book on African Public Theology into Portuguese and French. Please pray for funding.  Fraser had a good meeting this afternoon with the editor of the NetACT journal. Pray that he would be more ready to include Fraser in the editorial process.  Pray that NetACT partner colleges would realise the benefits NetAct offers and would use them.

Pray for wisdom as NetAct want to start a conversation about Chinese neo-colonialism in Africa and beyond without being accused of political motives or inciting threats against partner colleges across Africa.

Dawn’s self-discipline in not launching back into activity too soon after her illness seems to be paying dividends.

Edwin, a regular at Bible study in Drakenstein will be released on parole shortly. He sees his time in prison as God’s answer to his prayer, regretting the relationships affected and broken by his behaviour and incarceration. His priority is now to be a good father and grandfather in a way that honours God.

The ex-gang leader Theswin’s 16 year old daughter Luzaandrie is 8-9 months pregnant.  Pray that she and the baby will escape the cycle of depravity and addiction to find new life and hope in Christ and that Theswin will have wisdom and patience in his relationship with her.

South Africa has increased lockdown levels this week in fear of a third wave of Covid.